Mortgages  

Lenders must do more for 'vulnerable' borrowers

Over time, he suggested government funding could be transitioned away from subsidies - estimated to be £20bn a year -which offset the cost of energy, to providing financial assistance for owners to invest in improving the energy efficiency of properties.

Boyd added: "Winter is coming and mortgage lenders have an opportunity to do something for the greater good of borrowers, but they need to act fast, ideally in tandem with the government.”

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Commenting on the ONS inflation figures, Julian Jessop, economics fellow at think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: "The small fall in UK inflation in August is welcome, but it is far too soon to sound the all clear. The headline rate remains close to 10 per cent and food price inflation is still rising.

"The Energy Price Guarantee means that consumer price inflation will probably peak at around 11 per cent in the coming months, before falling sharply next year."

House price conundrum

However, the Halifax Price Index for July indicated that house prices are by no means faltering in the light of soaring inflation and rising interest rates. 

This could be leading to a two-speed economy between the housing market and the broader UK economy, according to Fine & Country's managing director Nicky Stevenson. 

Stevenson said: "Just when you thought a slowdown was coming, the housing market accelerates back into overdrive. The rapid cooldown in prices predicted by many economists has simply failed to materialise."

She added: "Quite the opposite appears to be happening, and what is increasingly clear is that the housing market and the broader economy do not always move in sync".

Lewis Shaw, founder of Mansfield-based Shaw Financial Services, agreed that house purchase advice was still going strong despite the broader UK economic environment.

Shaw said: "First-time buyers have been leading the way in recent months.

"The volume of enquiries and calls we're getting remain at record levels, which is starting to feel a bit odd given the cost of living crisis and rising interest rates. It should be getting quieter, yet we are seeing the opposite.

"With two years of breakneck house price growth, it's as though the property market has decoupled from the economic train and is now freewheeling down the tracks without any brakes."

He added: "Let's hope for a gradual slowdown rather than crashing into the barriers.

"The fact that we're now seeing loans for prime borrowers nudge over 5 per cent may well start to see demand fall slightly and result in a cooldown rather than a crash." 

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com